Tegucigalpa, Honduras Report of what it's like to live there - 08/12/15

Personal Experiences from Tegucigalpa, Honduras

School Name: American School of Tegucigalpa

Tegucigalpa, Honduras 08/12/15

Background Information:

1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?

Parent

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2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?

4, 6, 11

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3. During what years were you affiliated with this school?

2014-2015

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4. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?

government

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5. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?

Largest and most centrally located of the international schools, appeared to have many after school activities, appeared to have large expat community.

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Admissions & Welcome:

1. Are the admissions and placement procedures clearly stated to prospective families, either on the school website or through other means of communication?

C

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2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?

C
They act welcoming, but when problems arise, their attitude is that you are lucky to be attending at AST.

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Administration & School Procedures:

1. Describe the general climate of the grade level that you teach or your child attends:

4th grade student had some issues with bullying
6th grade student had problems with bullying
11th grade student had no problems with bullying, but had problems with sexual harassment. The principal was willing to help deal with the issues.

Outside school, the kids mostly get together and drink. A lot. Even parties that are held during the day revolve around drinking. Parents are fine with this and provide the alcohol. In our experience, students' misbehavior is tolerated with very few consequences.
Re: bullying, the administration did very little, in fact, in some cases they blamed the victim for causing the bullying.

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2. For the following attributes, down to the next blank box, grade your experience at the school on a scale of A (excellent) to F (unacceptable/terrible) and provide comments:<br><br>Overall fair and equitable treatment of all students and families:

D
Local families are favored.

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3. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?

D
I have not heard from any teachers at all. They would probably meet with me if I requested.

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4. Aside from school fees, are there required expenses such as uniforms, laptops/tablets, musical instruments, or field trips that parents are expected to cover? What are the approximate costs?

Uniforms have to be purchesed.

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5. Services for gifted students who need academic challenge and students with learning difficulties:

I am not aware of any.

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6. Availability and variety of after-school activities for various ages:

B
For high school level, there are many clubs and activities.

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7. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:

D
misbehavior is tolerated

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8. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):

C
Lots of homework.

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9. Administration-parent communication:

D
They will communicate if I contact them.

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10. Teacher-student communication:

C
Teachers for the most part seem helpful.

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11. Academics, answer the following questions "yes" or "no" with an explanation if appropriate:<br><br>Are there any classes or subjects where students are not appropriately challenged?

Yes.
To fill the schedule, kids may take a class they have taken before (foreign language, for example, that they have studied before at higher level.)

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12. Does your child receive any special-needs assistance or instruction at this school? If yes, what types? Who provides services and where:

No

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13. Does the school offer a wide variety of elective or non-core classes such as art, music, and drama?

No
There is no drama class or club. There is a band, I am not aware of art program.

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14. Please describe any classes or programs that you believe are missing:

Drama club.

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15. Are there academic requirements such as trips or other activities that cost money in addition to school fees?

I don't know.
Seniors go on a class trip, that is not school sponsored, so they pay out of pocket, as it is mainly an opportunity to party.

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16. Have your children participated in the activities offered? If no, please indicate why:

Yes

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17. Does the school provide appropriate assistance to new students?

In my experience, when a student struggles to fit in (purposely left out, made fun of, even gets beat up, especially in the middle school level) the school does not intervene or provide solutions, although they say that they do.

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Academics & Resources:

1. What personal or academic counseling resources are available at this school? Is there a dedicated college counselor at the school? Is he/she familiar with universities worldwide?

F
I am not aware of any.

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2. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?

D
OK library for the region.

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3. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?

F
Not aware of it. Locals seem to be communicated via group texts.

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4. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?

C
They have PE classes. They have after school sports. Coaches prefer the local students, but expat kids get to play.

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5. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?

1/20+

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6. Are Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses available in upper grades? If this is an IB school, is the full diploma required of all students?

A
IB program

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7. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?

Yes

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8. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?

No art or drama electives that I am aware of. No drama club, for example, no drama productions. They have a band that travels, I haven't heard them play so I don't know how it is.

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9. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?

Yes, except music, art, pe.

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10. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.

No

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11. What extra-curricular activities (including sports) are available at this school? Have your children participated in these activities? What activities do you feel are missing at the school?

Yes
FBLA, service club, etc.

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Social & Emotional Well-Being:

1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?

High school level, yes. The socializing does, however, involve a lot of drinking.

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2. Are there are any problems with exclusionary behavior, cliques, or bullying at this school? Please describe any problems your children may have experienced in this area.

Yes, as mentioned above.

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Overall Impressions:

1. What is the greatest strength of this school?

It is a big school, the location is good.

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2. Greatest challenge?

Bullying in elementary and middle school; alcohol use in high school.

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3. Would you choose this school again? Why?

No.
Bullying and alcohol use by the students.

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